Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Sean Penn Killed Hugo Chávez!

Well, no, but that's what conspiracy theories look like in Venezuela. Via Hugo Pérez Hernáiz:

Yesterday journalist Miguel Salazar, author of the popular column Las Verdades de Miguel, proposed a theory which rapidly became viral in social media: Salazar is suspicious of the motives actor Sean Penn and model Naomi Campbell might have had for their contacts with president Chávez. 

Salazar suggests there is a need to look into “the ease with which potential ‘infiltrators’ (infiltrados) could get close to Chávez.” He has no evidence that Penn or Campbell could have poisoned Chavez, but reminds his readers that the actor recently made headlines by “handing over” Mexican drug capo El Chapo to the authorities. Whereas the Campbell becomes a suspect for Salazar because “she is not known to have had any other political public appearances different form her meeting with Chávez in 2007.” Salazar finishes his note with a comparison between Campbell and the WWI famous spy Mata Hari.

This also reminded me of how the electoral losses in Venezuela especially but also Argentina have thrown the left off. There is a lot of finger-pointing going on. Now Sean Penn, who has framed himself as the champion of the Latin American left and is an ardent critic of U.S. policy, is also in the cross-hairs. As soon as we learned for sure that Chávez had cancer, people were blaming the CIA for killing him (not to mention possibly somehow giving Lula and others cancer) which is almost a mainstay of conspiracy theories. Blaming someone who is trying--however badly--to be on your side is new.


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